SMX West: Social Media And The SEO

    February 27, 2008
    WebProNews Staff

Fickle yet valuable, traffic from social media sites represents a way of generating lots of page views in a very short, and profitable, period of time.

(Coverage of the SMX West Conference continues at WebProNews Videos. Keep an eye on WebProNews for more notes and videos from the event this week.)

To Rand Fishkin, social media marketing, aka SMM, offers a route to the key influencers on blogs and social media portals. The value of those places comes from how their support enhances a site’s branding and mindshare goals.

Convince the influencers, and you convince their audiences, in other words.

Social media rose in importance as participation grew tremendously. A front page promotion on Digg or Reddit, or a trip up the Delicious Popular list, gets one’s content popularity and traffic. Conversion goals become easier to reach when huge numbers of visitors arrive from social media at a site.

Barbara Boser talked about Digg, and how to build an SMM effort with this major social media site as its focus. She cautioned that the initial time commitment could take a couple of months, perhaps working every day at it.

One’s profile should be anonymous and likable on social media sites. Profiles of top users can serve as a model, but Boser warned not to make the profile too similar to those. A unique name and avatar make for a memorable part of a profile, and should be part of it.

Going forward, make friends with other users. Vote and comment early on interesting stories. Avoid submitting duplicate stories, and resist the temptation to submit from your own site immediately.

After seeing what works for titles and descriptions, learn from them to write yours. Keep submissions down to two or three a day. Too much submitting, especially from one site, looks like spamming, which is extremely unpopular with social media users.

Michael Gray talked about the benefits of the micro-blogging service, Twitter.

As an opt-in permissive marketing tool, Twitter gives the follower control over the relationship. If they want to follow your Twitter updates, stop following them, start following them again, it’s up to the follower.

Twitter can alert followers to your blog or site updates. It’s a free way to drive people who have already expressed an interest in your content to the newest entries.

Gray said Twitter has a high click-through rate compared to pay per click or email. People who make their profiles look like a real person backs it should have an easier time making friends. Build the profile, then build friendships on Twitter.

Also, answering direct replies on Twitter promptly enhances how people view you. Just as followers control the decision to follow your work, you control what they see in Twitter, and how they see you.